OT RAMBLING: Why My Little Pony is good for women, girls, and everyone!

by - November 12, 2014

Before you click away, I have to tell you that I never would have thought that I'd make a blog post like this... but I never would have thought that I'd be so impressed with a cartoon for children that holds a pretty significant marketing objective behind it. I never would have thought it, but I really am. I've been incredible impressed as I've marathoned the entire first season on Netflix at the subject matter, messages, and positive lessons that this show delves into. As my best friend put it via text message the other night, having watched some episodes after listening to me talk about how impressed with it I was, "It's fascinating that they tackle actual things... It's blowing my mind. All adults should watch this show."

I decided I absolutely had to write about this. Keep reading for my thoughts as to why.

I started watching My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic recently after watching a couple of documentaries on Netflix about Bronies. What are Bronies, you ask? Bronies are generally teenaged to adult male fans of this show. An intriguing idea, isn't it? The documentaries are definitely worth a watch and I recommend them to anyone who is also intrigued at the idea.

The premise of this show is pretty basic. Twilight Sparkle has been tasked by her teacher and the ruler of the realm (realm??? I'm going with it...) to go to Ponyville and learn lessons about friendship, which is something she hasn't really understood until then. In Ponyville, she meets Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Fluttershy and the 6 of them all become best friends. In each episode, the girls learn a lesson about friendship, identity, life, happiness, etc. 

Sounds pretty standard, right? It is... But is also isn't, because I feel like I've never seen a children's cartoon that touches on things quite the way that My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic does. 

Obviously, with friendship being in the title, that's the crux of this show and absolutely one of the best aspects of it if you ask me. I sincerely believe that there needs to be more examples of positive, healthy friendships represented for little girls and even for women. Pop culture tends to pit women against each other, setting them up ultimately as competition rather than really focusing on how we can be a community and a center for each other. I honestly don't know what I would do without the women in my life who I call my best friends. They know me better than anyone else in the world and I know that they have my back no matter what, which gives me strength outside of what I would be able to garner if I was alone. I think it's important to teach girls how important those friendships are and how to be in a healthy friendship.

The great thing about this show is that while it obviously stresses the importance of friendship, it also portrays friendship in a very real way. It has tackled issues like jealousy and selfishness in a way that feels productive and real. It also stresses the importance of accepting your friends for who they are, being supportive through struggle, and encouraging your friends to go after their dreams and be the best versions of themselves. In a world where so much children's entertainment still has female characters in supporting roles or focusing on their quest for romantic love, I feel like a solid representation of friendship is huge.


I think all of us who have clawed our way into adulthood know how important it is to figure out who you are as an individual and find happiness that way, but I don't necessarily think that we've had the best influences to do that. There's such a press for conformity that sometimes getting to that place of knowing who you are and understanding yourself can be an incredible struggle. That's why I love the way that My Little Pony really stresses the idea of individuality in a way that isn't even a little bit subtle. The little design on each pony's flank is called a Cutie Mark and it's not something that a pony is born with but something that they receive upon finding out their strength and identity. 

Throughout the first season (which is, admittedly, all that I've gotten through thus far) there are three little ponies who haven't gotten their Cutie Marks yet because they haven't figured out who they are as individuals yet. They call themselves the Cutie Mark Crusaders and they spend a significant amount of time trying out all kinds of different things trying to get their Cutie Mark and thus define their identity. I feel like this mirrors the experience of most women who have tried on a lot of different identities in search of the one that fits. This show stresses the importance of finding what makes you unique and special, what makes you an individual, and stresses that you can't be happy and complete being something you're not. What could be a better lesson?


The whole premise of the show is based around the lessons that Twilight Sparkle learns about friendship and each episode (that I've seen so far) ends with her writing a letter to Princess Celestia about the lessons that she's learned about friendship.  While some people may find this cheesy, I think it's especially important to little girls that there's no subtlety about the lessons that these stories are teaching both the characters and the viewers. Through the first season, there have been some really important lessons that the girls learn. Some of my favorites have been lessons about learning that there's no shame in accepting help from others and that you don't have to take everything on yourself, that it's okay to be proud of the things that you're good at, that it's important to embrace each other's differences and value people for them, that you shouldn't judge people by what's on the outside but by the content of their character, that it's important to be honest, and that friends can make even the bad days seem better.

I think that these are lessons that both little girls and grown women should hold close. 

So... there you have it. An entire post that I'm almost afraid to do a word count on about why I think My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is worth a watch. Now, I don't have kids and I'm not sure I ever will, but I do sincerely feel that if I did I would absolutely be encouraging them to watch this show and take the lessons from it - whether it was a little girl or a little boy. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, I can certainly accept that, but it absolutely does have incredible value. And it's adorably animated.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the show.

"Just because somepony is lady-like doesn't make her weak. In fact, by using her wits, a seemingly defenseless pony can be the one who outsmarts and outshines them all."


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